Expanding Arc of India’s Defence Diplomacy: From the Indian Ocean to the Gulf of Guinea

Dr Sankalp Gurjar is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Udupi, India
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  • July-September 2023

    The use of defence-related instruments and activities, in a cooperative and peaceful manner, to support foreign and strategic policy is defined as defence diplomacy. India has long been practising defence diplomacy to complement its foreign policy. The arc of India’s defence diplomacy is expanding steadily in terms of the nature of activities as well as geographic coverage. Historically, the training of military personnel, capacity building and providing necessary security assistance, as was seen in the case of Seychelles and Mauritius, were key components of India’s defence diplomacy. In the new millennium, maritime security emerged as one of the most significant aspects of India’s defence diplomacy. Indian naval warships have been routinely deployed in the waters of the Indian Ocean to provide security, exercise with regional navies, tackle piracy, and provide humanitarian assistance as well as engage in disaster relief operations. India’s defence diplomacy, through expanding naval footprint, is now engaging countries in the Mediterranean as well as in the Gulf of Guinea region. India seeks to expand influence and enhance its strategic footprint through the conduct of defence diplomacy.

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